WASHINGTON, July 17 (UPI) -- U.S. retail sales were unchanged in the week ended Saturday, but did not slip after a week of strong gains, a trade group said Tuesday.
Although flat compared to the previous week, "sales held onto the prior week's hefty gains," the International Council of Shopping Centers said in a weekly report.
Retail receipts also rose 2.6 percent compared to the same week a year earlier, the group said.
"Despite the lingering hot summer weather about one-third of all households that will buy back-to-school merchandise have already begun to shop," the trade group said.
Retailers, however, can expect August to include "the lion's share" of back-to-school shopping, ICSC said.
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TEL AVIV, Israel, May 17 (UPI) --Nobel Energy of Houston, which discovered Israel's big gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean, is pressing the government to decide soon on an energy export policy as the prospect of an undersea pipeline to Turkey gains credibility.